I may choose to ignore people who comment anonymously. I choose never to be anonymous online myself. I have little tolerance for this behavior.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

“You ever hear about this Nephi fellow? What’s his story?”

I've been in the two wards described by Farid Rushdi in the article, "A tale of two wards: Serving 'the least of these.'" Well, maybe not the exact twos ward but certainly their equivalent somewhere in the world.

In the first, a man was treated abominably. In the second, he was treated wonderfully. Both were LDS wards. His conclusion was that he doesn't like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but he loves the Mormons.

If this man walked into Church in your Ward and sat down in a pew, what would your reaction be? We all know what it should be, but what would it be? We all like to say we want to help the downtrodden, but usually it is only the socially acceptable downtrodden and on our own terms.

Some of the most selfish people I've ever known in the Church were the ones who did the most service. Why? Because they only helped in the ways they wanted to which wasn't necessarily in the way that was needed most. And, they didn't help in the Lord's way.

Whether we have a leadership position in the Church or we are just acting in our individual capacity, we should act consistent with the principles of the Gospel.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Early Church Teachings Are Now Restored to Us!



Elder Marlin K. Jensen told us about the woman pictured in the video above, the one who can actually read Pitman shorthand. She has been able to translate Pitman shorthand notes of early Church sermons into prose, sermons that were otherwise lost to us. It is nice to see this project online so we can explore hitherto unexplored areas of Church history.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the "Lost Sermons" project.

Brigham Young on mortal death:
We should be in a hurry to receive our rest … but having that desire in our hearts to live causes us to cling to the world that we may finish the work the Lord gives us to do.
Parley P. Pratt on his missionary labors:
Traveling abroad to preach the gospel is one of the pleasantest and easiest of all the labors of the kingdom.
John Taylor on the Gospel:
The gospel of Jesus Christ, the principles of salvation, and the science of an eternal life is a matter so great, so wide, and so comprehensive that it is difficult to know where to commence and where to leave off, difficult to find the beginning the middle or the end. It is something like the Melchizedek priesthood, without beginning of days or ends of years. It reaches back into eternity and forward into eternity.
Orson Pratt on partaking of the Sacrament weekly:
Do we feel and realize these things as we ought from Sabbath to Sabbath? Do we think of these things? Do we meditate upon them? Do we reflect upon the subject or do we merely come and partake of this ordinance as a kind of secondary consideration, not thinking about the object for which it was instituted and thus pass the time without having benefitted?
Heber C. Kimball on abiding by our covenants whether other people do or not:
Suppose you should all turn away from [the] faith. What has that to do with me? Suppose you should all act like devils. What is that to me? What has that to do with my religion? I am to serve God and keep his commandments perfectly independent, that is from the acts of any other person in God’s world. It has nothing to do with me one way nor the other, but it is for me to serve God and keep his commandments, to fulfill my covenants. When I went into the water [of] baptism I made [a] covenant I would forsake the world with all [that] pertains to it, and cleave unto the Lord God with all my heart all my days. This is the covenant that I made, to turn away from the world. That is the covenant you made, or the one you should have made. Now, will you fulfill it?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Are Online Commentators Really Looking for Enlightenment? I Don't Think So.

My apologies to those of you looking for regular postings on this blog. I want to post regularly but sometimes my health interferes. I now have several chronic conditions that interfere with my good intentions.

My beef today stems from a recent experience online. I occasionally post comments on newspaper articles. Sometimes I even read those posted by others. I'm reconsidering doing this in the future. Here's why:

Once I've stated my views on something I see no reason to repeat myself. I suspect many writers simply rework old ideas over and over. I won't argue with this strategy. However, my intent in writing is to formulate and focus my ideas. Writing is for me, not others although I'm delighted if I actually help someone else.

So, with this in mind, when I happened onto a news article that covered a topic I had dealt with generously in this blog, I simply referred others here and didn't bother to rehash my arguments in 200 words or less.

Something curious happened.

People started attacking me, viciously. Okay, that isn't curious, it is normal for anything online these days. What bothered me most about their comments wasn't so much the venom but the ignorance. I had completely answered their points in my series of blog postings. In fact, I could tell none of them had read my work. I reviewed my blog statistics which confirmed my suspicions.

No one had actually accessed my blog.

After a short time I posted another comment on the news article pointing this fact out. The venom against me surged again. This time, there were about three views of one of my numerous blog postings. Alas, all the others remained unread. I continued to monitor my blog traffic. Nothing changed. There were a handful of future views, about five total. The numbers didn't reach the number of people analyzing me in the news article's comment forum. They weren't even close.

What conclusions should I draw from this experience?

I have decided on the following:

1. I won't waste my time commenting on articles anymore.

2. It is unlikely that any of these people are actually looking for enlightenment on the topic. There is no point in my wasting my time on them.

3. The people who spew the most venom remain anonymous. I never am. I always use my name.

If you have already learned these lessons, my congratulations. I keep learning them. There is always a faint hope in me that human nature may actually improve, however unlikely.